STYLE IN THE LIFE OF: Talking L.A. Culture with the Cousins Behind The UNDERRATED BRAND (URLA)

Who and what is The Underrated Brand? “We are culture. URLA is L.A. Everyone in the city living in the urban culture anywhere is URLA. URLA is owned by Dominic Bedford and Cody Johnson (cousins). We are The Underrated Brand and we’re known as Underrated Los Angeles through one of our first logos but somehow URLA came about through the people ("U.R.L.A., ‘cause girls love initials’”). We represent the rare Hip Hop urban culture.”

How would you describe your brand's style? “Our style is simplistic. We look to be the new generation’s brand that is hard to categorize. We are a mixture of Bape, Gap, A.P.C but still hittin’ you with today’s Hip Hop feel along with that real Hip Hop style before all the zippers, leather and floral print.”

Break down your pieces for us. “Our varsity headbands are one of our most popular pieces. There were two colorways made (baby blue and black). We made it because we felt that it was a rare piece in our culture that was forgotten about. Our logo caps are also new to the brand and our first hat. It will be the brands logo hat. We chose to do a cap instead of the expected snapback to give the the urban culture a different and more fitted look and not do what everyone else is doing. Right now we have a 12th Man Varsity Football jersey available online.”

What inspires your designs? “Our designs are inspired by what we grew up watchin’ in Hip Hop music videos. Our ideas stem from Bape, Gap, & Ralph Lauren. We have created most of our designs but have also worked with former Rip N Dip designer and current Birds of Feathers owner, Joe Diàz, Jamil Gray of The Established, and Alex Bortz who did the mixtape artwork cover for Wiz Khalifa’s 28 Grams.”

As we all have seen, everyone and their mother has a brand. What sets URLA apart from the rest? “We get a lot of respect for doing us and not flowing with the trends. We are the only brand that can truly represent L.A. culture to the world at the present time through fashion. There are no investors involved with the brand. We built this from the money we saved doing whatever we had to do. We host concerts and have plans of possibly doing some work at SXSW in 2016.”

Your brand is lowkey booming. Where do you see yourself in the future of streetwear culture? “We really don't see us in streetwear at all. As a matter of fact, we have never considered URLA to be “streetwear.” We are a brand that is simplistic and something you can wear in any setting. We have a lot of surprises coming and are moving into making products that most brands don’t dare to even touch. People are catching onto us now, but we have been on the map just working our way up. You can expect a lot of cut and sew pieces and catch some of your favorite people rocking URLA. Be on the look out for our app [depending on when this drops it might already be available in the app store on your mobile device]. Our website is and our Instagram is @urlabrand. Shoutout to Anwar Carrots for being a part of teaching us how to run a brand.  Shoutout to CJ Wallace for always putting on for URLA, Zac FTP and Sunny from Smokers Club.”

Interview by Carmelita Mae. Follow Carmelita on Instagram at @HousePhneShawty.

Photography by Jonathan Tate. Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @Johnny13laze.


Carmelita Mae Carmelita is a Contributing Style Editor at SUSPEND Magazine.